No Refund? No Way!

Is it the fault of the customer if the product that he/she had bought is not functioning? Isn’t it the fault of the company that made the faulty product?

These are the questions that whirl inside my head as I feel exasperated with CDR – King. This company is popular for selling affordable computer accessories and gadgets in the Philippine market. I also know that this company is popular for manufacturing gadgets that lasted only for some months.

I have been searching for a 5 meters long USB extension cord for my personal computer. The one that I was searching is a USB cable that has a signal booster. Apparently, this item is rare because other computer shops do not have this item. Fortunately (as I thought), the Cd-r King branch along Ongpin Street in Binondo has one remaining stock of the extension cord that I was looking for.
CDR King

That Cd-r King branch does not have a personal computer that could be used to check if the USB cable is functional, so I place my trust in the company and believe that the cord is not faulty.

I was wrong. The cord can’t be recognized by my home computer and my office computer. I even went to other Cd-r King branch to have the cord tested. The technicians said that the USB cable is indeed faulty.

I went back to the Cd-r King branch along Ongpin for a refund, just to be disappointed because the clerks insisted that they do not do a refund for their faulty products. What they only offer is the exchange of other items. Any product will do, as long as the total amount of items that I chose will equal the price of the faulty item. I protested, but they keep insisting on their stand and told me that I will be stuck with their faulty item if I hadn’t made an exchange within the one-week warranty period.

Luckily for me, I found an alternative for the item that I need. But how about other customers that could not find an alternative? This no return policy causes them to be stuck with the malfunctioning products or with products that they do not need. This policy is wrong and an injustice to their customers.

Is the “no return policy” a company policy of Cd-r King, or is it just the whim of their clerks at their Ongpin branch? I need some clarification. Maybe sending a complaint to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will straighten things out. Abangan…

P.S. Never buy Cd-r King products at their Ongpin branch because the clerks there are not “customer friendly” and they do not have computer to test the products that you are buying. I recommend the branch at Cyberzone in SM North because the staff there are approachable and go the “extra mile” to serve their customers.


In 2012 the World will End in Boredom

I did not expect that our world will end in year 2012 as predicted by the Mayans, thousands of years ago. I also did not expect that our own world will die because of boredom. Death by boredom, this is what I think is the hidden message that the apocalyptic film 2012 is telling the filmgoers.

2012 is about the catastrophic death of the world in the year 2012 because of the sudden increase of activity of our sun that triggers the heating of the Earth’s inner layers, causing the instability of the Earth’s crust. What you will have is the sudden movements of the crustal plates accompanied by strong earthquakes and tsunamis. Your eyes fill feast on falling buildings, exploding volcanoes, big cracks on the earth, and large waves that eat up large coastal cities.
The graphics and special effects of the film are cool. It is nice to see building dropping like dominoes in the first part of the film, but as the film goes on you will be bored and the continued catastrophes will only make your eyes glazed. The focal characters do not also help much and their problems, as shown in the film, are puny in relation to the catastrophic events that are happening all around them. The beginning of the film is also turned me off because the scenes are too slow in directing to the focus of the film.

Another problem that I had is their premise of who can only be saved. Only the G8 countries (the 8 richest nations in the world) were informed of the catastrophe. Is the group of G8 countries equate to the whole nation of the world? Where is the United Nations? Are they saying that the poor nations do not deserve to know that the apocalypse is coming? Is the gene pool of human beings living outside the G8 countries not worthy enough to continue in the post – apocalyptic civilization?

The information black-out on the information about the apocalypse is overrated. Other nations, outside the G8, also have the capacity to collect information about an event as large as what occurred in the film.

2012 taught me one thing: never watch a movie showcasing large scale catastrophes ever again.

Radio is Back

One of the many things that Typhoon Ondoy had taught the victims of flooding and prolonged power outages is the importance of the radio. During the onslaught of the typhoon, many people experienced the loss of the most popular source of news of information: television. Even the handy cellular phone became useless after the typhoon as many cell sites became un-operational due to power outages and flooding. Many of us became exasperated as we are cut-off from the outside world and our friends. The loss of TV and mobile phone highlighted our dependence on real time communication and information especially during calamities.

In contrast, radio is more stable and sometimes became the sole voice of information and news in communities ravaged by Ondoy. I remember how I wished to have bought a transistor radio before the Ondoy came. How I envy the lucky neighbors who have a radio blaring inside their homes, filling their moments with music and updates on the calamities wrought by the typhoon.

Having learned our lessons, we bought a radio and now we rediscovered the fun of listening to this small voice box. Every night, when my parents got tired of the usual dramas offered by the local TV networks, they turn on the radio and listen to music and get some laugh from local FM stations.

Also, as a preparation to future calamities, we made sure that the radio we bought can be operated by various energy sources. The best radio that we chose is the one that can be plugged, operates on battery, and have an internal re-chargeable battery. Now, even if the TV became blank during the assault of typhoons, we have the reliable radio to keep us informed and entertained during power outages.

Picnic Grove, Tagaytay City

In one of my previous Explorer’s Notebook blog post, I talked about People’s Park in the Sky in Tagaytay City. Now, I will be writing about another tourist spot in the so-called Baguio of the south and this tourist spot is the Picnic Grove.

The first thought that entered my mind when I stepped inside Picnic Grove is “renovation.” The park is indeed in great need of a facelift and restoration just like the People’s Park. I have noticed that park’s administrative building (which is shaped like a “salakot” and smartly called as Salakot Building) is in woeful condition. The ceiling are falling off, patches of plastic sheets were placed to prevent leaks due to rain, the comfort rooms is filthy, and the inside of the building is dim. Visitors are welcomed by unpaved streets.

However, the park is still beautiful and is better than People’s Park. Picnic Grove offers different amenities and activities that will make the visitor’s stay enjoyable. Just like the People’s Park, Picnic Grove boast of the great view of the Taal Lake and Taal Volcano.
A nearer view of Taal Volcano

How to Go to Picnic Grove

There are many ways to go to Picnic Grove. One can ride a tricycle or a jeepney if you are commuting. Riding a jeepney is better since the fare is much cheaper than that of the tricycle. The only advantage of riding a tricycle is that they could be seen everywhere in Tagaytay City, unlike the jeepney that only have definite routes. The best place to ride a jeepney is on the Tagaytay City market because the jeepney terminal is located there.

From Olivares Center, in Tagaytay City, you can ride jeepneys going to Picnic Grove at the terminal located few meter away from Jollibee. You can also try riding the tricycle but be warned that tricycle drivers will offer you unreasonable price if they found out that you are a tourist. So, be sure to ask the tricycle driver first and strike a good deal with them before riding.

To know how to get to Tagaytay City from Metro Manila, go to the blog post about the People’s Park.

Entrance and Parking Fees to Tagaytay Picnic Grove

The entrance fee for Tagaytay Picnic Grove is 50 pesos per person. The park also has parking space for the vehicles of their visitors. The fee cost 30 pesos for each car or van, 50 pesos for one jeepney, and 100 pesos for each bus.

Picnic Grove's Amenities and Activities

Aside from sightseeing and picnicking, you could do many things inside the Picnic Grove. You could go horseback riding with your family. The park also boasts of zipline facility.
When you entered the park, you will immediately be approached by many different people offering either horseback riding or a room that you could rent for the night. Horseback riding usually cost about 200 pesos per hour of riding on the horse, but some owner of horses lower their offer up to 150 pesos. I advise that you try to haggle with the horse owner so as to get a cheaper price when you decided on horseback riding.
Picnic Grove Visitor enjoying the zipline.

The zipline is the most exciting facility in Picnic Grove. You could feel the cold Tagaytay wind rushing onto your face as you fly down the zipline. This can also be a test of courage because you will have to cross a wide chasm between two mountains with just your  security rope tied to the zipline.

You could also ride the cable car if you are too afraid of the zipline. The cable car is like a big birdcage, letting you see the beautiful Taal Lake and the green land below you. On ordinary days, the cable car and zipline cost 100 pesos and 200 pesos for one-way trip and two-way trip, respectively. During weekends and holidays, the one-way trip is 200 pesos and the two-way trip is 300 pesos

For family and barkada picnics, you could opt to set your picnic on the green grass of the park or rent a covered table. The price for each covered table ranges from 15 pesos to 20 pesos. People who do not intend to rent the picnic facilities can still use the facilities as long as they are just there to sit and don’t have any packed foods with you. The park’s personnel inspect each user of the picnic facilities and ask people with food to pay the corresponding fee.


There are also shops inside the park that sell foods and souvenir items.

Picnic Grove is better than the People’s Park. It has a wider space and a better and nearer view of the Taal Volcano. Plus, it has many things to offer like horseback riding and the zipline. The park is ideal for family picnics and little children will enjoy this place more.

I just wish that the city of Tagaytay will make this place better and fix the admin building and many things inside the park. Picnic Grove is good but there is more room for improvement.

Another Use for the Pink Fence

Bayani Fernando implemented great and innovative ideas as the chairman of the MMDA. The famous of his many ideas is the MMDA pink fence.

In his stay as Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman, presidential aspirant Bayani Fernando built many pink fences throughout Metro Manila. There are pink fences on the sidewalks, on the streets, on the islands and in any place within the Metro imaginable. Aside from the usual use of fences, that is to serve as boundary between two areas, Bayani Fernando thought of many ways to use it. In Cubao and other areas, his pink fences serves as a tool to herd commuters and public buses like cattle. It also serves as a blockade to the pesky jaywalkers all throughout the Metro. The fences also serve as blockades during rallies. It was even used by MMDA as public bulletin boards where MMDA can notify the public of the latest concerts of their chairman.
MMDA Pink Fences along EDSA, Cubao, Quezon City

I also have a novel idea for Bayani’s pink fences. My idea is to use the pink fences as a prison. The form of the pink fence prison can be likened to the pink fence below:
My proposed pink fence jail.

This will discipline the Filipino drivers. Instead of just issuing tickets, all the MMDA officers and traffic enforcers have to do is to lock – up each traffic violator for thirty minutes for each violation. Motorists, commuters, and pedestrians can be imprisoned inside the pink fence. If a jeepney driver unloads/loads passengers at “no loading/unloading” area then he can be imprisoned for thirty minutes inside the fence. Jaywalkers will also be imprisoned for thirty minutes inside the fence.

Imagine the inconvenience of the time lost for traffic violators and also the shame of being imprisoned publicly. This scheme will deter traffic violators and make traffic more bearable.

I know that this is still impossible to implement in the current settings. However, if Bayani became the president, I believe that this is possible since he will rule with an iron hand.

Hope that the MMDA peeps will read this post. :-)


Follow me in Facebook and Twitter.